28 July 2008 20:31 [Source: ICIS news]
Senator Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) told a press teleconference that the Senate could act this week to pass legislation to increase production of domestic
The Senate deadlocked on Friday last week over a Democrat bill that would impose more federal controls on energy futures trading. Democrats contend that market manipulators are chiefly responsible for record high oil prices and resulting high gasoline prices in the
McConnell charged that the Democrats’ focus on controlling speculative trading as a response to high energy costs is pointless.
“I don’t think anyone sees the Democrats’ plan to curb speculation as a serious effort to deal with the price of gasoline at the pump,” McConnell said.
Republicans have accused Reid and Democrat leaders in the US House of blocking efforts to bring offshore energy development bills to a vote.
US chemical producers and a broad array of other manufacturing and power sector interests have been pressing Congress to lift the 27-year-old congressional moratorium on drilling in 85% of the resource-rich
“There are Democrats in the Senate who believe that we should increase domestic production, and I hope they will be given an opportunity to vote on it,” McConnell said in urging immediate Senate action on a broad range of proposals for energy conservation, alternative and renewable fuels and more offshore drilling.
“When the Senate decides to accomplish things, we can do it in record time,” he said, adding that there is time this week to craft an energy relief bill before Congress breaks for its month-long recess in August.
Asked if he would welcome a move by Bush to summon Congress to a special session during August to deal with the energy crisis, McConnell said he had not heard such a plan discussed but that “I’ll be happy to be here if he does call a special session”.
“But the time to do this is now, this week,” he added.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about a possible Bush call for a special session of the legislature.
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